Review by Ner:
M is for Magic
Author: Neil Gaiman
Release Date: 2008 (originally January 1st, 2007)
Pages: 249 (Paperback)
Genre: YA | Fantasy | Short-Stories
Read: from April May 1 to 4, 2014
Source & Shelf: Gift | Own
ISBN: 9780747595687 (Paperback)
A sinister jack-in-the-box haunts the lives of children who owned it, a stray cat does nightly battle to protect his adopted family, and a boy raised in a graveyard confronts the much more troubled world of the living in this wonderful book of short stories by master storyteller Neil Gaiman.
These eleven stories range from the scary to the whimsical, the fantastical to the humorous – each a different journey in which the reader encounters the rich and wonderful imagination of a writer who knows how to thrill and satisfy his audience.
Another anthology of short-stories, this one by an author I highly regard despite having read only one of his books (have another one to read so…): Neil Gaiman. I’m quite fond of this author because he wrote several Doctor Who episodes, some of them amazing. And even though I didn’t read the book, I saw the movie, I can tell this is an amazing (yet creepy) story: Coraline!
This book has some wicked stories; some good, some bad, some weird and some quite interesting an idea to explore even further. But, that was only it. This is one of those books that you read once, you might remember one or two stories from it, and then forget. This is unfortunate, really, because I had high expectations regarding this book.
The very best about this book was Neil Gaiman’s introduction. Now, I don’t normally quote books on my reviews (I don’t know why) but in this case I have to share with you one of the most beautiful things about stories I’ve ever read:
“Stories you read when you’re the right age never quite leave you. You may forget who wrote them or what the story was called. Sometimes you’ll forget precisely what happened, but if a story touches you it will stay with you, haunting the places in your mind that you rarely ever visit.”
If I have to choose just one short-story in this book that touched, that was October in the Chair. It was a hauntingly beautiful short-story about not being accepted by those we care about and how we can find some sort of happiness in the strangest of places and people… dead or alive.
The Price also touched me slightly. The story of an adopted cat that battles an invisible threat to protect his family. This one made me tear up a bit, I’ll be honest. This poor little animal kept fighting night after night even though he was wounded only to protect those who gave him a little bit of attention and affection.
How to Sell the Ponti Bridge was also a story I enjoyed quite a lot. It reminded me slightly of Stardust by Gaiman and it’s that kind of short-story that is so well developed you feel like you’ve read an entire book.
Maybe these short-stories were the only reason I managed to fully enjoy this book as a whole. Apart from these two – and maybe Chivalry which was a cute and funny little one about the Holy Grail – the rest didn’t quite touched a nerve or emotion.
However, I will still consider Neil Gaiman an amazing writer and I’m looking forward to read more of his books and to watch more Doctor Who episodes written by him.